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My first international adventure was an amazing one. Elaine Keane is an occupational therapist that has opened, Crecer, a free clinic in Ecuador. Six occupational therapy students, six physical therapy students, and our professors ventured to Ecuador to provide services at Elaine's free clinic along with other sites in the area, including an adult day care, nursing home, and orphanage.


Throughout the week, the OT and PT students took over the caseload at Crecer Centro de Rehabilitación, Educación, Capacitación, Estudios y Recursos, Inc. My group, composed of two OT and two PT students, saw clients pediatric to adult. One of our successful cotreat sessions was with a young boy with spastic cerebral palsy. The PT student held the boy on his knee focusing on breaking up his tone with proper positioning while I completed a tabletop activity with the boy encouraging him to bring his hands to midline while completing fine motor tasks. Our class also worked with an adult who suffered a TBI after a fall at his electrical job. One group worked on his mathematical skills by creating a mock store and asking him to purchase items and calculate the correct change. Another group arranged the therapy room to mimic his electrician job site. The client demonstrated what his job entails as the OT and PT students noted areas that needed improvement before he is able to return to his job.

At FUNHI, the adult day care, we had a sports day playing adapted versions of volleyball, soccer, hockey, and ring toss. We also celebrated a Quinceanera with the clients. We took this opportunity to create birthday cards with those who hoped to improve their fine motor skills. Those who needed to improve range of motion helped us decorate the room with crepe paper and balloons.

The Asilo orphanage and nursing home were less focused on individual therapy sessions and more so aimed at serving the large population in a volunteer aspect. The girls at the orphanage ranged from 18 months to 14 years old. From painting nails to making balloon animals, the girls had a blast and the students didn't want to leave. At the nursing home we first helped shower the residents each morning. It was a very humbling experience. In the afternoon we had a fiesta with the residents, which included balloon games, jewelry making, and a lot of dancing.

The trip wasn't all about work. We had plenty of fun- zip lining upside down in the Andes Mountains, white water rafting in intertubes, relaxing in the hot springs heated by volcanoes, learning how chocolate is made, going to a butterfly house, orchid tour, tasting guinea pig, and sightseeing. I thoroughly enjoyed my first traveling experience and can't wait for traveling opportunities in the future.

Signs Restaurant

Signs Restaurant is staffed with deaf servers, and is now open for business in Toronto's busy Yonge and Wellesley area. The restaurant is the first project of its kind in Canada.

"I think it's super inspiring," says Christine Nelson from the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf. "On behalf of the whole community we're thrilled to see something like this take place."

Owner Anjan Manikumar says he got the inspiration for Signs while working in a Markham restaurant as a server. He had a deaf customer who had to order by pointing to the menu. "I felt he wasn't getting the service he deserved," says Manikumar. "He wasn't getting the personal touch."

Full article:

Technical guides and animations on the ADA and ABA StandardsThe U.S. Access Board has launched new online guides on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. This web-based material features illustrated technical guides that explain and clarify requirements of the ADA and ABA standards, answer common questions, and offer best practice recommendations. It also includes a series of animations on various subjects covered by the standards.

"The Board is very excited to offer this series of technical guides and animations to help users understand the requirements of the ADA and ABA Standards and how they can be met," states Access Board Member Michael Graves, FAIA. "As a practicing architect, I know from experience how valuable this type of guidance is in following the standards and ensuring accessibility."

The initial installment of the guide covers the first three chapters of the standards, including application and use of the standards (Chapter 1), scoping in new construction, alterations, and additions (Chapter 2), and basic "building block" technical provisions (Chapter 3). Guides covering other sections of the standards will be released at a later date. The supplementary animations, which range in length from 6 to 10 minutes, address wheelchair maneuvering, doors and entrances, and accessible toilet and bathing facilities.

"These new resources not only explain requirements in the standards but also demonstrate their rationale," notes Graves. "Knowing the 'whys' behind various provisions is key to understanding what accessibility means and how best to achieve it."

The Guide to the ADA Standards covers design requirements that apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities subject to the ADA in new construction, alterations, and additions. The Guide to the ABA Standards addresses similar standards that apply under the ABA to facilities that are designed, constructed, altered, or leased with federal funds.

Future installments to the guides will be published as they become available. Users can sign-up to receive email updates on the release of new technical guides in the series.

Candace Cable in Armenia

Candace Cable in Armenia spreading the word about living with disabilities.


Although it is not the point of this PSA here is proof that we see the world differently from a wheelchair.

Notice how this billboard is designed to communicate something entirely different to children, and by extension, those at wheelchair height. The process uses a lenticular lense to direct the image at a specific height. It raises the question. "What else do people of short stature pick up about the world that slips past others?"


From Graham Condie:

Would you be able to forward my questionnaire onto some groups of physically disabled people who you know have been on cruises? The deadline for the questionnaire is next Friday (7th February) (GMT).

My questionnaire contains 3 sets of questions on physically disabled peoples' motivations, experiences and opinions of cruises. Most of the questions are only ticking a box and the questionnaire should only take ten minutes.

Please find the questionnaire here:

Here is the 2012-2013 report from the 3rd European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities.

Join us on January 29th at 8:30 pm Eastern Time for a Virtual Support Group on travel with a disability. 

 Preregistration is required. Registration is online at this link:

What are these virtual discussion groups from ABC Medical?

Here at Leaving Evidence blog Mia Mingus deepens our understanding and gives a name to a phenomenon similar to what Fullbright Scholar Regina Cohen identifies as "atmospheres" in her excellent study of museum accessibility in Brazil.

First from Mia:

There are many ways to describe intimacy.  For example, there's physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, intellectual, political, familial or sexual intimacy.  But, as a physically disabled woman, there is another kind of intimacy I have been struggling to name and describe, what I have been calling "access intimacy".

Access intimacy is that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else "gets" your access needs.  The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level.  Sometimes it can happen with complete strangers, disabled or not, or sometimes it can be built over years.  It could also be the way your body relaxes and opens up with someone when all your access needs are being met.  It is not dependent on someone having a political understanding of disability, ableism or access.  

Here Regina describes "atmospheres" in context:

Here is an article from BRACE worth reading that articulates well the groundswell that is also forming n the USA that has formed in reaction to intransigent injustice.

Just one quote and follow up at the link below:

Often, people like the idea of "inclusion" if folks with disabilities, they really do from the heart, but don't understand that it may very well mean a change is needed, and that we usually have a great deal of experience compromising and changing our own schedules and habits to suit your able bodied world. It would be nice if able bodied folks more often took the time and effort to recognize that when you invite us, you will need to do some adjusting, that things will simply not be as they have always been. That's just the way things go. And you never know, you may even like the change!

Read the full article:

PhotoAbility is  the work of New Mobility Person of the Year Deborah Davis and Australian tourism expert Bill Forrester. It charts a positive path through the excesses common in representing people  with disabilities in images. It marks a transition point by moving from discussion to providing a database of commercially available quality images.

Images at the poles the unaccepatable - off-the-path images - havebeen labeled "Inspiration Porn" and Desperation Porn."

Read Kara Ayers in her Audacity Magazine piece, "Desperation Porn: The Impact of Graphic Medical Images on the Disability Community":

 Stella Young wrote a phenomenal post on inspiration porn this summer. She describes the "feel good" images of children with disabilities as objectifying and limiting to our range of experience as people with disabilities.

I consider this newest trend a polar opposite type of image but with a similar impact. Graphic medical images of nameless children splashed across the Internet are a form of desperation porn. Posters seek short-term gratification of crisis support needs with little thought as to the implications of these images on their child's future.

Read the full article:

The First Issue of PhotoAbility Magazine

Have a look at the first issue of Photo Ability Magazine.


 Here it is in another format:

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